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jaysbrew
04-19-2005, 07:47 AM
Any beekeepers out there? I'd like to start up the hobby, but am worried about all the talk about mites. Bees have sure been wiped out pretty good lately - at least here in the Mid-Atlantic area.

Any keepeers in the Northern Virginia area want to help out a newbie? I'd love to see some beekeeping in person. One can only get so much out of books.


Cheers,
Jay

ScottS
04-19-2005, 08:41 AM
I keep bees. Started last year with 3 hives, doubling this year to 6. It's just like meadmaking - addicting. ;D Only more expensive. :(

I've kind of been keeping my head in the sand regarding mites. No problems yet. I've found a guy to buy hives from that breeds for cold hardiness and mite resistance. We'll how that works out.

jaysbrew
04-19-2005, 08:47 AM
Which breeds have better mite resistance? I'll be keeping these guys in North Carolina, so cold resistance should not be very important.


Cheers,
Jay

Lagerman64
04-19-2005, 10:48 AM
I've had some friends try to start hives here in New York, but they lost them to one thing or another. I hope to have my own some day, hope I have better luck. :)

ScottS
04-19-2005, 04:48 PM
I don't know which breeds have better mite resistance, I don't think any have a real advantage over another. Hunt down someone in your area that has kept bees without chemicals for several years. Those hive are certainly somewhat mite resistant if they haven't died out yet.

beeboy
04-22-2005, 03:36 PM
I've owned two or three beehives for about six years now, got wiped out in the mid 90's by mites and just got back into it. The mites are here to stay, the only way to keep the mites at a acceptable level is to use all the different types of control measures that are advailable. It's called intergated pest management. I've been using the screened bottom boards, Bayer strips and the Apistan strips. Other nonchemical controls include using tobacco or dried sumac leaves in your smoker, both seem to stun the mites and have them fall through the screened bottom board. If there is a sticky piece of cardboard under the screened bottom board the mites stick to it and can't climb back up into the hive. I would rather not use either type of strips just because of the chance of residual chemicals getting into the honeycomb and leaching out into the honey. If you have honey supers and brood supers then the chance of contamination is reduced. With the price of package bees nowadays I'll use whatever is advailable for mite control. I use deeps for the brood and shallow supers for honey production, the deeps weigh close to 100lbs when full of honey and can be a problem to move when the bees start getting agressive. The shallows weigh less but only hold half the honey that a deep can hold so you will end up spending more money for the extra equipment.
I think some of the russian bees are a little more mite resistant when compaired to others. Of couse the africianized bees seem to be very mite resistant but they have some serious behavioral problems. Keep your smoker lit!!!! Beeboy